24 January 2023

Latest information on NEU strike vote (Updated 24th January)

24th January 2023

We wrote to parents last Tuesday about the vote for strike action that had been announced by the NEU and the possible impact of this vote on our schools (see news story of 17th January below).  Having now met at each site with the teachers who are members of the NEU it is clear that there is a real strength of feeling regarding the issues of teachers’ pay, teacher recruitment and school funding and that many teachers in the Trust will take action on the 1st February.  We are mindful of the requirement to take all reasonable steps to keep our schools open for as many pupils as possible and so where staff are available their classes will remain open on each site.  However, we need to give parents and carers early notice that the majority of classes, and some entire sites, within the Trust will be closed on the first strike day – Wednesday 1st February.  Given that the strike has been heavily supported for this first strike day we think it is reasonable to assume that there will be further disruption on the three strike days that follow – 2nd March, 15th March and 16th March.

The Heads at each school will write to parents tomorrow (Wednesday 25th January) with details of classes that we currently expect to be both open and closed.  However, any NEU member is entitled to join the strike right up until the last day and so the arrangements stated in the letters may be subject to change and this is beyond our control.  As stated below this dispute is between the NEU and Secretary of State for Education and is very much out of the Trust’s hands.  Classes that are open will be taught, as normal, by a qualified teacher with fully accredited Designated Safeguarding Leads available to ensure the children’s safety.  We are pleased to have been able to give a full week’s notice for classes that will be closed and hope for a speedy resolution of this dispute between the NEU and the DfE.

17th January 2023

Many of you will have read in the news today that teachers who are members of the National Education Union (NEU) have voted in favour of strike action as a result of a national dispute with the Secretary of State for Education over teachers’ pay and school funding.  The days currently planned for strike action in our region are:

  • Wednesday, 1st February
  • Thursday, 2nd March
  • Wednesday, 15th March
  • Thursday, 16th March

This planned action may result in us not being able to open to some or all pupils on those days.  We are currently working across our Trust to ascertain the likely impact on our schools on those days and I will write to you again once we know more.

We appreciate that this industrial action could cause disruption to the learning of our children and young people and that families might have to make alternative arrangements for childcare during these days.  We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause but this dispute is with the Secretary of State for Education and is very much out of the Trust’s hands.

We will do our best to open to as many pupils as possible on those days, where it is safe to do so.  However, the Trust are always keen to keep parents and carers updated so I thought it would be helpful to let you know as early as possible that, unfortunately, it may not be possible to admit your child on those days and give you the opportunity to consider alternative arrangements should these be necessary.

We will write again closer to the time when we know a little more.

Jolyon Roberts
Executive Principal

Published on 24th January, 2023

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